Winter’s here, let’s be careful out there

WINTER IS HERE EVERYWHERE - except on the calendar. The official first day of winter may still be more than a week away, but you couldn’t tell that from the weather so far.

We’ve already had several snowfalls – although nothing substantial yet – and endured sub-freezing and even below-zero temperatures.

This kind of weather should be nothing new to anyone who has lived in these parts for any amount of time, although the early arrival might be a bit disconcerting or off-putting.

But we have already seen horrific multi-car pileups and traffic accident deaths in snowstorms in the state, as well as stories of people suffering in the extreme cold.

It all stresses once again the need to take care and take precautions in the harshest of winter weather – something we should all know but too often seem to forget.

The easiest and safest course is to avoid going out or driving in heavy snow or extreme cold, but of course that isn’t always possible.

If you have to drive in a snowstorm, first of all buckle your seat belt before you start, then drive carefully, cautiously, slowly and with extra attention to conditions and surroundings. It may take a little longer to get where you’re going, but saving lives and preventing accidents is more than worth the extra time. Make allowances in your schedule and everyone will be better off.

As for going out in extreme cold – if you can’t avoid it – be sure to dress appropriately, in layers of warm clothing protecting as much exposed skin as possible – face, hands, etc.

Don’t stay out too long in the cold and, if you do plan long periods outdoors or have to work outdoors, make sure to take frequent breaks in someplace warm. Keep moving but don’t overexert.

Just like humans, pets should not be outdoors for longer than necessary in extreme weather conditions.

Keep an eye out for neighbors and family, especially the elderly, to make sure they are warm and safe in the winter weather.

In your home, make sure your furnace or heating system is working properly and safely. Never use an oven or outdoor grill (charcoal or gas) for heating indoor spaces and if you use portable or space heaters, heed all the safety precautions they come with and unplug them when not in use.

Winter is something that can’t be avoided in Wisconsin. It can pose hazards, but a little common sense and precaution should keep us all safe.

At issue:
Winter weather has arrived
Bottom line:
Be sensible, be safe


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